In a global, connected and multicultural workplace environment we need to harness the talent and potential of a wide range of people to develop and grow our firm.
Building an inclusive culture, where we value difference and respect our colleagues, is the right thing to do and helps our people to perform at their best.
Diversity of thought, background and experience enables better decision-making, improves the quality of our delivery and helps us to meet the needs of our clients.
“We are committed to providing opportunities for our people to be themselves. Every person, regardless of their gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or background should be able to fulfil their potential at work.”
David Dunckley, CEO
We know that building a diverse and inclusive workforce is something we can’t do alone.
Collective action is vital to drive sustainable change.
To do this we collaborate with external organisations, our clients and our profession to help guide us in building a more inclusive work culture and society.
We know that we still have lots of work to do. Driving change is a key business objective and is treated as such. Our senior leaders, working in partnership with designated business leads, take responsibility for delivering our strategy. The action we take is informed by analysis of firm data which enables us to create targeted solutions and we are committed to continually evolving our approach and improving transparency.
Delve into a more detailed look at our approach to equality, diversity and inclusion
Our ambition is that we are fully inclusive every day. This means that our working environment is one where everyone’s experience is important.
Where all our people are treated fairly, and everyone has equal access to opportunities and reward, where everyone feels safe to be themselves. We want to create a culture where it’s okay to ask questions and to understand more about different perspectives, so that we continuously educate and inform each other.
Our inclusion and diversity strategy is guided by three principles:
1 Leadership – we emphasise the importance of inclusion and diversity (I&D, also known as D&I) in the delivery of our strategy at all leadership meetings. We will continue to roll out reverse mentoring to help our leaders to understand the perspective of others. Our leaders take responsibility for their own I&D data dashboards and talent succession plans to improve diversity and equality.
2 Involvement – we involve our people to ensure we create a culture of everyday inclusion together. This has started by training 50 people to be Inclusion Allies. We work closely withInclusive Employers to ensure inclusion is integrated into our everyday thinking and celebrated during National Inclusion Week.
3 Engagement – we engage all our people through active networks, celebration events and webinars to educate about cultural backgrounds and difference, and encourage ownership of I&D at every level in the organisation.
We celebrate the fact that each one of us is unique. And we are very proud of everyone who helped us to showcase diversity through our ‘Stories of a diverse workforce’, in which we asked our people to open up about themselves. These stories touch on important topics such as caring for loved ones, living with disabilities and long-term conditions, sharing parental responsibility, agile working, mental health, LGBT+ and more.
David Dunckley, CEO, has overall accountability for our commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Jenn Barnett, Head of Inclusion, Diversity and Wellbeing, adds support and also implements the strategy.
Each strand of diversity has a board sponsor and a partner responsible for it, as a convenor.
Our commitment to supporting our people is paramount and we have prioritised mental health in our firm since 2012; it’s been a key part of our culture.
We want to reduce the stigma of mental health, for it to be okay to say when things are not okay. We are signatories of the ‘Time to Change’ employer pledge (2017), in which we committed to change how we think about mental health.
We have built our strategy around supporting our people to develop healthy habits and normalise mental health. We encourage people to talk about and prioritise their mental health. And we give our people tools and resources to help manage stress, care for themselves and to care for others. Examples include the following:
To equip people to have conversations and signpost helpful services, we have trained more than 70 Mental Health First Aiders. They listen, reassure and respond in a crisis
We have recruited wellbeing champions for every office to raise awareness of mental health through communication and celebration. They work with office leads to promote good wellbeing practices and social connections
We help our people understand how anxiety impacts performance and brain functioning, and train people to develop healthy habits to prevent stress from accumulating
We help people managers to create an environment of psychological safety to encourage people to speak up and tell us when things are not okay
Darren Bear, Partner, Senior Leadership Team and Board Sponsor for Mental Health
Jenn Barnett, Director of Inclusion, Diversity and Wellbeing
Shenara Jarrett, Assistant Manager Inclusion, Diversity and Wellbeing
We have a market-leading and a data-driven approach to identify and remove barriers to entry and progression for those from lower socio-economic backgrounds.
In 2017, we were named number one in the Social Mobility Employers Index; in 2018, we received a Queen’s Award for Social Mobility; also in 2018 we were named Social Mobility Organisation of the Year at the Social Mobility Awards.
Our social mobility strategy for 2020 is based on data analysis, transparency, community and advocacy, and we plan to focus on three areas of implementation: attraction, hiring and progression.
We partner with Access Accountancy for many of our work experience programmes, taking approximately 80 young people per year from lower socio-economic backgrounds through the programme. Access Accountancy is a collaboration of more than 25 professional services firms which are dedicated to improving access to the accountancy profession in the UK.
We are committed to providing opportunities for our people to flourish and every person regardless of their ethnicity or background should be able to fulfil their potential at work.
We are focused on creating a culture where people are celebrated for their differences, where those from a BAME background feel included and inspired, where individual contributions are valued not just with words but with progression and pay.
Our aim is to build our workforce to become more representative of the clients we work with and communities we live in. We need to attract more BAME people to our firm. To achieve this, we will continue to work to ensure that we recruit people from those ethnicities by removing barriers to participation and progression, and to reward fairly.
We have committed to the Race at Work Charterwhich requires us to appoint an executive sponsor for race, capture ethnicity data and publicise progress, commit at board level to zero tolerance of harassment and bullying, and make clear that supporting equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace is the responsibility of all leaders.
Our vision is to remove gender disparity. We know that we have an equal gender balance up to senior manager but after that, the percentage of women and non-binary people in leadership roles decreases.
Our focus is to build a gender-balanced pipeline of talent. Our 2023 targets are to reduce our gender pay gap to 20%, increase our percentage of female and non-binary partners to 25%, directors to 30% and we have committed to the Women in Finance charter.
An integral part of this is enabling our people to balance work and life commitments through agile working and robust family care policy, and we work closely with working families to agree progression in our policies to support gender equality in our working family policies.
Fiona Baldwin, Partner, Senior Leadership Team, Board Sponsor for Gender
Jenn Barnett, Director of Inclusion, Diversity and Wellbeing
Anna Holloway, Senior Manager, Inclusion, Diversity and Wellbeing (Gender)
Shenara Jarett, Assistant Manager Inclusion, Diversity and Wellbeing
Jemma Pearson, Inclusion Resourcing Manager
We are committed to ensuring that our firm is inclusive and welcoming to people regardless of their actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, transitioning status or intersex status.
We offer a professional and supportive working environment to all our people, free from judgment.
At our firm we want everyone to feel proud to be themselves and comfortable to be open about their sexual orientation or gender identity if they so wish. This means that we treat people with respect, acceptance is offered without exception – in reflection of this our policies are LGBT+ inclusive and everyone is given fair access to opportunity.
In 2020, we ranked 287 out of 503 in the Stonewall Equality Index, a significant improvement on 2019. This reflects the large amount of work done in this area. But we have more to do. We aim to raise visibility and acceptance of difference, understand perspective, language and ways of being, and continue towards our aim of Stonewall Top 50 by 2023. Charles Wild, our LGBT+ Network Convenor was named Stonewall Bi Role Model of the year in 2020.
Charles Wild, International Development Director, LGBT+ Network Convenor
We want our people to define themselves through their ability rather than any perceived disability and to feel comfortable to share any condition.
A wide range of support is available from adjusting work environments, supporting returning to work after ill health, to providing market-leading technology and education for people managers.
We are members of the Business Disability Forum, and work closely with them to develop inclusive policies and working practices. We have achieved Level 2 – Disability Confident Employer. This is a government scheme designed to help employers recruit and retain skills and talent of people with disabilities.